Namibia is a destination unlike any other in Africa. With its almost otherworldly dune landscapes, ancient deserts and incredible game viewing opportunities, Namibia is the ultimate African road trip destination for intrepid explorers.
Our 11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari starts in Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, and takes you on the road trip of a lifetime from the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei to the ocean and lagoon at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, from Damaraland with its almost surrealistic gravel and granite rock formations to remote and rugged Etosha National Park and its wildlife bounty.
11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari
Hosea Kutako International Airport > Windhoek > Rehoboth > Maltahöhe > Sesriem > Sossusvlei > Sesriem > Solitaire > Ghaub Pass > Walvis Bay > Swakopmund > Hentiesbaai > Uis > Khorixas > Outjo > Etosha National Park > Tsumeb > Otavi > Otjiwarongo > Okahandja > Windhoek > Hosea Kutako International Airport
Cost and validity
1 January to 31 October 2021
Over two-thirds of Namibian roads are gravel. We recommend renting a 4×4. Because Windhoek – where most rental car companies are situated – is 45 km to the west of Hosea Kutako International Airport, you will need to arrange a transfer from the airport to Windhoek with your rental car company. Alternatively, please speak to us and we will arrange a rental car and transfer for you. Rates on request
10 nights’ standard room accommodation (2 nights Windhoek, 2 nights Sesriem, 2 nights Swakopmund, 1 night Damaraland and 2 nights Etosha South and 1 night Etosha East)
3 dinners (2 dinners at Desert Hills Lodge and 1 dinner at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge)
Excluded from Price
Rental car and fuel
All entrances and activities
Meals not specified
Optional activities and excursions (rates on request)
Expenses of a personal nature
Visa fees (where applicable)
What to Bring
Sunhat and sunglasses
Namibia emergency number: +264 81 127 0564
Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia, do not forget to exchange money and buy an MTC telephone cell phone card. From there, it is a 45-minute drive to Windhoek where you will check into Am Weinberg Estate Boutique Hotel after collecting your rental car.
Book your rental 4WD through us and we will arrange for a representative of the car rental company to collect you from the airport which is 45 km to the east of the capital city. The representative will drive you to Windhoek where most car rental companies are located. Rates on request. If you prefer to book a vehicle yourself, please ask your rental car company to arrange a transfer from the airport to Windhoek. Airport transfer and the rental car not included in the price of the safari.
After collecting your info pack from reception which details your itinerary, includes maps and routes, and lists important contact numbers, the rest of the day can be spent at your leisure. If you have time and would like to explore some of Windhoek’s historical sights and famous landmarks, ask us to book an optional guided, three-hour city tour for you.
Highlights include Schwerinsburg, the largest of three castles in Windhoek, the old Lutheran Christuskirche, the Alte Feste, once headquarters to the imperial German colonial military force and an excursion through Katutura, which means “the place where people do not want to live” in Otjiherero, a formerly “Blacks only” township.
Returning to Am Weinberg Estate for dinner, you have the choice of sundowners and finger food at the Sky Lounge, an upmarket selection of food and wine at the Wine Lounge, farm-fresh produce from local producers at Olivia’s Kitchen, fresh fish at the Cape Town Fish Market and juicy steaks at Butcher Block.
The first leg of your 11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari adventure begins after breakfast, when you set off for Desert Hills Lodge, a mere 30 km from the gate of the
Namib Naukluft Park. En-route, there will be plenty of opportunity to stop along the way to photograph Namibia’s ever-changing landscape. Optional activities available at Desert Hills Lodge include:
a day trip with lunch pack and refreshments to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon (see our Recommendations for Day 3)
Buffet breakfasts, lunches and three-course dinners at Desert Hills Lodge are served in the on-site restaurant which offers breath-taking views of the surrounding desert area. There is also a bar, an outdoor BBQ area and a fire pit.
Recommendations for Day 3
An opportunity to explore the ancient marvels of the Namib Desert should not be missed. Desert Hills Lodge offers a day trip that includes refreshments and a lunch pack. Highlights include a visit to Sossusvlei with its ever-shifting, iconic red dune landscape and Sesriem Canyon, a deep, narrow gorge created by centuries of erosion. This day trip is an optional activity and can be booked at Desert Hills Lodge.
Day 4 sees you setting off after breakfast for Swakopmund on the coast. Swakopmund, and nearby Walvis Bay, are seaside retreats, much-loved by adventure-seeking explorers. The largely gravel road will take you through some quaint towns and past some iconic landmarks. Some of the highlights en-route to the coast include:
Your accommodation for the next two nights in Swakopmund is the Strand Hotel Swakopmund. After checking in, you can spend the afternoon at your leisure. You might want to stretch your legs on the beach or take in Swakopmund’s colonial heritage on foot. Some noteworthy landmarks to visit include:
The Strand Hotel Swakopmund has three restaurants; the in-house brewery, Brewer & Butcher, a Farmhouse Deli and the Ocean Cellar which serves great seafood and fantastic wines.
The Jetty 1905 Restaurant on the Swakopmund Jetty is a popular place to enjoy fresh fish in a relaxed atmosphere with amazing views. Ask the reservations desk at the Strand Hotel Swakopmund to make dinner reservations for you.
Recommendations for Day 5
A day trip to the harbour town of Walvis Bay, 45 km away from Swakopmund, is highly recommended. Please ask us for a detailed list of activities and excursions. Some highlights include:
The next leg of your 11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari starts after breakfast at the Strand Hotel Swakopmund when you make your way to Damaraland via Henties Bay and Uis. En-route, you can stop at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, home to one of the largest breeding colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. Steeped in history, it is also the place where the Portuguese explorer and first European to visit the area, Diego Cao, erected a cross.
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge is in Damaraland, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its large collection of rock-art engravings. Ancestral seat of the Damara people, Damaraland’s landscape transitions from semi-desert to savanna and shrubland. After
checking in at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, a refreshing dip in the swimming pool might be welcome. There is also a cosy guest lounge to relax in before enjoying dinner in the restaurant which overlooks Huab Valley.
If you would like to explore some of Damaraland’s iconic landmarks before proceeding north-east to Toshari Lodge on Day 7, you will need to check out after an early breakfast. Noteworthy Damaraland highlights include:
Toshari Lodge is situated on the rim of Etosha National Park about 25 km from Andersons Gate. You can expect to arrive there in the late afternoon. After checking in, you can cool down in the swimming pool, kick back and relax at the garden bar and convene for dinner in the restaurant afterwards.
Recommendations for Day 8
Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s top game viewing destinations, home to the critically endangered black rhino and rare black-faced impala and tsessebe as well as four (elephant, white rhino, leopard, and lion) of the Big Five. Despite the harsh environment, the park teems with all manner of wildlife from 114 mammal species including zebra, giraffe, antelope, cheetah, and jackal to 340 species of birds including gigantic flocks of flamingo.
Etosha National Park is perhaps best known for the wildlife spectacle that unfolds in the Etosha Pan, an ancient inland sea that dried up over millennia, when animals gather to drink from the last remaining pools of water. You can spend Day 8 game viewing in Etosha National Park in one of two ways. You can either self-drive Etosha National Park or you can book a place on a guided, open-safari vehicle at Toshari Lodge.
Another option for Day 8 is to go on a morning game drive in Etosha National Park and then spend the afternoon visiting the Omapaha Himba Village. The women of the semi-nomadic Himba people are well-known for the distinctive red colour of their skin which comes from the butter, fat, and red ochre paste they apply to their skins.
It is also possible to visit Omapaha Himba Village on the morning of Day 9 after checking out from Toshari Lodge and before making your way through Etosha National Park to the Von Lindequist Gate where Mokuti Etosha Lodge, your next accommodation, is situated.
Day 9 will see you travelling north-east through Etosha National Park and skirting Etosha Pan towards the Von Lindequist Gate. The map says the most direct route is approx. 195 km, but you will most likely cover more distance as you go in search of game, explore waterholes and other points of interest along the way.
Located outside Etosha National Park, a four-minute drive from the Von Lindequist Gate on a private nature reserve near the old Namutoni Fort, Mokuti Etosha Lodge is a classic safari-style lodge surrounded by Mopane trees. Meals are served in the Tambuti Dining Room and Terrace. On some evenings, guests gather around the firepit in the African Boma for a BBQ-style dinner. Snacks, teas, and coffees can be ordered from the Pool Bar & Terrace throughout the day.
After a hearty breakfast at Mokuti Etosha Lodge, Day 10 sees your 11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari coming to an end when you make your way back to Windhoek via Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja to the Okapuka Ranch. Situated 30 km north of Windhoek on the outskirts of the Okapuka Game Ranch, Okapuka Ranch offers several activities, including a sunset game drive.
If you prefer to spend your afternoon relaxing after the journey, there is a swimming pool, a lounge bar carved from the wood of a camel thorn tree and a wine cellar. Local game dishes and other specialties are served in the Park Restaurant.
You have reached the final leg of your 11-Day Namibia Explorer Self-Drive Safari. Check out of Okapuka Ranch after breakfast and drop your rental car off in Windhoek before being transferred to Hosea Kutako International Airport for your flight back home.
When you arrive in Windhoek, you will receive an information pack from reception at the first establishment. This information pack will contain important information such as
Check-in is usually after 14h00 and check-out at 10h00. Should you arrive at your accommodation before 14h00, you might be able to check in earlier, provided your room is ready. However, an early check-in is not always possible, especially during peak season.
Am Weinberg Estate Boutique Hotel
Am Weinberg Estate Boutique Hotel in Klein Windhoek is situated close to the National Botanical Gardens, Avis Dam Nature Reserve and the Independence Museum. The elegantly decorated air-conditioned, en-suite Courtyard Fountain Rooms have flat-screen TVs and conjure an old-world charm despite their modern amenities.
Other facilities include
Desert Hills Lodge
Taking inspiration from the organic domed homes of the ancient Namib tribes, Desert Hills Lodge blends seamlessly with its desert setting. Offering stunning views of the Namib Desert, each secluded, double or twin en-suite thatched Chalet is air-conditioned and has a minibar and tea and coffee station.
Other facilities include
Located on the beachfront, the Strand Hotel Swakopmund with its stylish rooms is perfectly situated for that quiet stroll on the beach after a day filled with adventure activities. The sea-facing Luxury Rooms with their lounge areas all have an en-suite bathroom, WiFi and an air-conditioner.
Other facilities include:
Damaraland | 1 Night Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
Built from natural stone along the mountainside, Twyfelfontein Country Lodge blends in beautifully with its surrounding environment. The Namibian theme of natural materials and warm colours is carried through into the comfortable, en-suite Rooms. Guests can choose between Rooms with plains-facing or mountain-facing views.
Other facilities include
Toshari Lodge is no more than 25 km away from the Andersons Gate entry into Etosha National Park, world-famous for the game viewing opportunities it provides. Toshari Lodge’s en-suite Standard Rooms are spacious, comfortable, and calming, each with a private garden-facing patio. The surrounding gardens are an intriguing combination of lush green lawn and untamed indigenous African flora.
Other facilities include:
Mokuti Etosha Lodge
Located on the doorstep of the Von Lindequist Gate to Etosha National Park, Mokuti Etosha Lodge is surrounded by Mopane woodland. The comfortable, well-appointed en-suite Standard Rooms have mini-fridges, a tea- and coffee-making station and an air-conditioner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Tambuti Dining Room and Terrace. Some evening sees guests convening under the stars for a traditional African BBQ in the African Boma.
Other facilities include:
The thatched en-suite rooms at Okapuka Ranch on the outskirts of Windhoek are spacious and conformable. They come with a bar fridge, tea- and coffee-making facilities and an open terrace with views of the surrounding Namibian bush.
Other facilities include:
Accommodation is subject to availability. If we are unable to book accommodation as stated, we will look for a similar alternative and advise you accordingly.
20% pre-payment at time of booking.
Balance to be settled 60 days prior to travel.
Payment to be made in ZAR (South African Rands).
The customer is liable for any bank charges.
Account holder: Africa Focus Tours Namibia (Pty) ltd
Bank: Nedbank Namibia
Account number: 110 000 707 52
Branch code: 461 696
Swift code: NEDSNANX
Cancellations 90 to 45 days prior to travel forfeit 20% of the full booking amount (ie deposit)
Cancellations 44 to 30 days prior to travel forfeit 30% of the full booking amount
Cancellations 29 to 15 days prior to travel forfeit 40% of the full booking amount
Cancellations 14 to 8 days prior to travel forfeit 60% of the full booking amount
Cancellations 7 days to NO SHOW forfeit 100% of the full booking amount
Special cancellation terms may apply for certain products and services.
Price quoted per person.
Minimum of 2 pax required for tour departure.
The hotels mentioned in the itinerary will depend on availability at the time of making the booking and any alternatives will be of a similar standard.
This is merely a quotation and not a confirmed booking.
Seek your doctor’s advice with regards to vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis.
Parents travelling with children must provide an unabridged birth certificate which includes details of the child’s father as well as the mother for all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children.
When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from the children’s parents proving permission for the children to travel.The above applies to foreigners and South Africans travelling to or from South Africa as well as travellers in transit.
Please note that the child must be the appropriate age (according to accommodation stipulated) at the time of travel.
Unless otherwise specified, children under 12 years of age qualify as a child rate and over 12 years of age as an adult rate.
Rates and policies for children under 12 years of age on request.